You were one of only two people out of nearly six million in the ESPN Tournament Challenge to correctly pick all Final Four teams. Out of those six million brackets, 70.3 percent of those brackets didn’t pick a single Final Four team (including yours truly). On top of that, only 0.6 called the Bulldogs and 0.1 had VCU.
Less than three weeks ago, I was using this space to preach about the injustice of including Virginia Commonwealth in this 68-team tournament when there were other worthier teams with better resumes. How fortunate that the NCAA expanded the field by three teams this year because if only 65 teams had been chosen, we would have been denied one of the great Cinderella stories of all time.
Melo did slightly better than average, but he didn’t do that much worse than Syracuse’s best freshman center in 15 years. Was it disappointing that he didn’t live up to the hype? Yes. But is it surprising? Looking at the production of other freshman centers, I don’t think so. More importantly, is it Melo’s fault that he was given unrealistic expectations by the media? Absolutely not.
The University of Kentucky is the winningest program in the history of college basketball. Its resume boasts 51 NCAA tournament appearances, a 107-46 tournament record, 14 Final Fours and seven National Championships. Despite the rich tradition, this year’s Wildcat team was not expected to make it this far. After losing five first round NBA draft picks after last season, the Wildcats appeared to be in a rebuilding year.